June 11, 2014
Because… I Said So
When I was in school, I was always told that the word “because” was one of those words you could do without in your writing – a conjunction that, if removed, the sentence could survive on its own.
However, according to separate studies performed by Robert Cialdini and Ellen Langer and published in Can One Word Turn Nonsense into Power Persuasion, adding the word “because” could lead to better results.
Because can be a persuader. When someone uses the word, the person they are talking to is expecting a reason to follow after. For example:
“Please use the specially marked return envelope enclosed that will alert our mailroom to process your gift quickly.”
“Please use the specially marked return envelop enclosed – because it will alert our mailroom to process your gift quickly.”
Does the second sentence sound more persuasive? Maybe? Maybe not? But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth testing…